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January 19, 2012

Voices on Ownership: Development leaders

John Donnelly

This is the third of a series of perspective pieces on country ownership from the “Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results” roundtable organized last week by the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), a program of Aspen Global Health and Development. This high-level dialogue included senior officials from developing countries, the US government, development partners and NGOs. These stories will run every day this week.

This third of four pieces covers the comments from several participants.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and co-moderator of the session: “Country ownership is a profoundly human rights concept. The whole commitment to the human rights system for these five countries that signed up with MLI … was to progressively realize that the primary responsibility to provide health care is with governments. … In Sierra Leone, for instance, you see something enormously encouraging: President (Ernest Bai) Koroma’s initiative for free health care for pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and children under five. We saw the untidy aftermath of that launch of free health care. Suddenly, there was a surge of women coming forward; we saw in a hospital in Freetown two women to a bed, but not a single health worker said to us, ‘This is a bad idea.’ They said they are exhausted, but they all know it has to happen. This all happened as a result of political will.”

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January 18, 2012

Voices on Ownership: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

John Donnelly

This is the second of a series of perspective pieces on country ownership from the “Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results” roundtable organized last week by the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), a program of Aspen Global Health and Development. This high-level dialogue included senior officials from developing countries, the US government, development partners and NGOs. These stories will run every day this week.

The second of four pieces covers the perspective of Ethiopia Minister of Health Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Minister Tedros said for many years he has been pushing for more country ownership. His approach is consistent: One vision, one set of priorities, and one group -- donors, partners and countries – working together.

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January 17, 2012

Voices on Ownership: Administrator Rajiv Shah

John Donnelly

This is the first of a series of perspective pieces on country ownership from the “Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results” roundtable organized last week by the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), a program of Aspen Global Health and Development. This high-level dialogue included senior officials from developing countries, the US government, development partners and NGOs. These stories will run every day this week.

The first of four pieces covers the comments of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.

Rajiv Shah opened MLI’s meeting by saying that the US government was committed to country ownership, but that it needed to find ways to improve its support of country-led plans.

He cited several examples that showed how integral country leadership was in producing results. One was a 2011 Demographic and Health Survey in Ethiopia that showed a 30 percent reduction in under-5 mortality. He attributed that in large part to the leadership of Minister of Health Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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January 13, 2012

US officials pledge to let health aid recipients decide

John Donnelly

As originally seen at Global Post.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the Obama administration’s key strategies in saving millions of lives of people in the developing world is to do something that on the surface sounds straightforward: let the countries themselves set the agenda and be in charge.

The idea is that countries know what’s best for them.

This principle is one of the foundations of Obama’s Global Health Initiative, but a roundtable on Thursday organized by the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI) showed why it’s not so simple. Still, several senior US officials said they were committed to building up country ownership, along with systems that closely monitor spending.

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January 09, 2012

Video blog: MLI roundtable preview with Rosann Wisman

Sarah Lindsay

On January 12th, The Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), a program of Aspen Global Health and Development, will bring together a prestigious group of ministry leaders from MLI partner countries and development leaders representing donors and implementing partners for a roundtable discussion. This frank and informed conversation will revolve around the growing movement toward country ownership of programs and its implications for the future of development practice and aid effectiveness.

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